Step up to fitness

Pump your heart up at home with the no-gym workout

When it comes to squeezing fitness into a busy schedule, there really is no place like home. Think about it: your house is filled with exercise equipment, from the mirror that helps you fine-tune your form to towels that make stretching easy, says Krista Popowych, a personal trainer and program director at The Fitness Group in Vancouver. Skeptical? Consider a recent British study that concluded climbing stairs could improve cardiovascular conditioning and blood cholesterol levels in just seven weeks, particularly in unfit women. Exercises using other household items, such as your bed or a kitchen chair, can also help you get the 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity you need every day. Just slip on some sweats and your gym shoes, because donning exercise attire will push you to work harder. Then try this nine-step no-gym workout at home.

Lower back

Limber up your lower back with this stretch from Darrin Zeer, author of Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People (Chronicle).